he said they have a programming team which is working in conjunction with Motorola to get firmware upgrades out as soon as they can...about one a week he said. These upgrades do not take effect until the box is reset.
I asked him if it mattered how far away you are from the end of the fiber, and he said not really, they have boxes right in their building that have the same problems. I quizzed him on PVRs and he said they were hoping within the next few weeks to have firmware out for that. I asked if our current boxes had hard drives in them and he said that yes, they did. I said a PVR will be no good anyway, because it will be frozen and the sound will be crap anyway.
I started working at Sasktel just before Christmas at the tail end of the HD nightmares. It was around Mid-Late January, a major firmware update was pushed out to all Set Top Boxes. From what I hear (and seems to be accurate judging by the calls I take), this is supposed to have resolved all Freezing/Pixelizing that is related to problems with the box itself. That accounts for about 80-90 percent of the HD freezing problems that people have been experiencing, so things are a lot better than they were in the past. You should no longer see the 5-10 second freezing as a result of the box. If that is happening there are other issues at hand.
From this point on, any freezing/pixelizing is likely related to either the source feed, the modem, or you could be too far from the source.
The guy you talked to was correct to say "not really" about the distance thing, because at the time most of the problems were because of the boxes. Now that is cleared up, so distance is a possibility if problems still remain.
About PVR - Not out yet. Definitely not this month, but could be by spring/summer 07.
Also, if you have the Homenet Gateway (most HD customers do), and wireless is enabled. That is known to cause problems if the wireless strength is set too high (the default setting should be fine). Fortunately, if you have other TVs in the house you will be provided a 2nd modem, and internet goes through that instead. So the likelyhood that wireless is enabled on the HD connection is very small. Wireless is disabled by default.